Former Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan was named as the BJP candidate for Kanyakumari Lok Sabha bye-elections on Saturday. Pon Radhakrishnan, who had won the constituency in 2009 and 2014, lost to Congressâ€™ H Vasanthakumar in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the demise of MP Vasanthakumar who passed away due to COVID-19 on August 28, 2020.
On Friday, AIADMK allotted 20 Assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat to the BJP. The AIADMK said that the party will extend full support to the candidates fielded by BJP in Kanyakumari. The poll pact was also signed by AIADMK's coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami and BJP's L Murugan and CT Ravi.
The announcement has also come a day ahead of Home Minister Amit Shahâ€™s campaign at Nagercoil. Amit Shah is also expected to carry out door-to-door campaign â€˜Vijay Sankalp Mahasamparkâ€™ in Susindram of Kanyakumari district. He will also reportedly hold a road show.
Pon Radhakrishnan has served as Union Minister of State Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from May 27, 2014 to November 9, 2014. He was then made as the Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping. In 2017, he was given the portfolio as Union Minister of State Finance and Shipping in the cabinet reshuffle.
Several candidates from Congress have also submitted their applications for the Kanyakumari constituency. The son of H Vasanthakumar, Vijay Vasanth submitted his application for contesting from the constituency which fell vacant after the demise of his father.
Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram also submitted an application on Friday urging the Congress to allot the seat for AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
In 2019, Vasanthakumar defeated Pon Radhakrishnan by a massive margin of 2.59 lakh votes.